Episode 50: Michelle Dean
In this episode, host Dave Fiore speaks with Michelle Dean, the executive director of the Popes Museum and Farm in Cairo, Georgia. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Michelle survived a childhood of abuse, poverty and instability saved by the generosity of strangers and a strong faith in God. She worked her way through college, sometimes sleeping in her car, before becoming a teacher and school administrator in Tampa.
Michelle, her husband Dan, and their oldest two sons moved to Tallahassee where she started homeschooling. She began teaching literature and writing to other homeschoolers while also being a successful entrepreneur and fostering children in distress – which led to two adoptions. In 2018, Michelle and her family made a significant life change to move and fix up an old beat-up house with a pecan field that turned out to be a long-neglected historical treasure. Today, the Popes Museum is winning awards for its restoration and is a coveted event venue.